pork shoulder ragu

serves 10-12;  hands-on time 45 min; simmering time 15-20 min; oven time 2½ -3 hours

make ahead
Cook the ragù up to 4 days in advance and keep in the fridge in a sealed container. Once cooled, you can freeze it in portions, sealed, for up to 3 months.

food team's tip
Reduce the sauce in step 4 to your liking. Pasta sauces, pork chillies or burritos work best with a thicker consistency gravy than a stew.

1.25-1.5kg British free-range pork shoulder
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
500m1 cider
2 x 400g tins tomatoes
2 roasted red peppers from ajar, rinsed
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
4 bay leaves
4 fresh thyme sprigs

1. Heat the oven to 140°C/fan120°C/ gas 1. Cut the pork into 4 equal chunks and season generously all over with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based 3 litre ovenproof casserole with a lid, add the onion and fry over a medium heat for 1 minute, stirring gently.

2. Add the pork and brown until lightly golden on all sides. Once browned, add the cider, tomatoes, peppers, garlic, balsamic vinegar and sugar. Fill one of the tomato tins with water and add to the pot, along with the bay leaves and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Put the lid on the pot, transfer to the oven and cook for 2½ - 3 hours until the pork is tender and shreddable.

3. Remove the pork chunks to a chopping board and shred using two forks. Discard the bay leaves and thyme sprigs.

4. Return the pan to the hob and simmer, uncovered, for around 20 minutes or until reduced to your liking (see tip). Add the shredded pork back to the pot and mix well.

per serving (for 10) 229kcals, ; 7.5g fat (21g saturated), 28.7g protein, 8.6g carbs (7.8g sugars), 0.3g salt, 1.6g fibre


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